Steamboat Springs A moose doesn't discern between a Labradoodle and a wolf. And because wolves are the sworn enemies of moose, the large ungulates tend to show aggressive behavior toward domestic dogs.
A Steamboat Springs pet learned that lesson the hard way last weekend, narrowly surviving a confrontation with a moose.
Danielle Domson, district wildlife manager with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said a Steamboat woman was walking her golden retriever in an area east of the back nine of the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course when the dog was attacked.
"The owner was certain her dog would die based on the way the moose stomped on it, but she took it to the vet, and it turned out it had a lot of bruises," Domson said.
The confrontation took place near the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation water filtration plant. It was one of at least two recent moose sightings in the city. Another report came from the area along the Yampa River behind the Route 66 gas station on the city's west side, Domson said.
She was uncertain whether new calves accompanied either adult moose. Moose breed in September and October and typically give birth in May and June.
"The only natural predator of moose is wolves," Domson said. "They can be very aggressive against dogs."
People who encounter moose should be wary of signs the animal is about to become aggressive - typically they lay their ears back, the hairs on their humps raise and they begin licking their snout. If the animal shows those signs, slowly back away at first, Domson said. However, if the moose advances, it's time to run away and attempt to put a large object such as a car between oneself and the animal.
Moose were first reintroduced into Colorado's North Park (east of the Park Range from Steamboat) in 1978. They have been known to migrate through Steamboat but haven't lingered close to the city.
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